The Self-Care Cookbook recipes: Easy, healing plant-based meals

Feeling the effects of an especially indulgent festive period? Us too. And with the new year – and indeed, the new decade – just beginning, there’s never been a better time to think about restoring the balance.

If you’re still struggling to kickstart your plans, we’d recommend picking up a copy of The Self-Care Cookbook, a mini recipe bible and guide to using food as a basis for looking after yourself – not just physically and nutritionally, but emotionally too.

Gemma Ogston
Gemma Ogston

The mindful meals are plant-based, and designed to help you restore, rebalance, reflect or renew, depending on what you’re in need of most. But there are no gimmicks and it’s not rocket science; just easy, wholesome ideas that add a little extra joy to each day.

‘It’s simple,’ says author Gemma Ogston. ‘When we make an effort to eat more healthily and take proper time to rest, recharge and do more of the things we enjoy, we feel better and happier. This means we’re stronger and more able to deal with whatever life sends our way.’

With this in mind, here are three quick, cosy Self-Care Cookbook recipes to get you going. Let’s make 2020 the best one yet.

3 Self-Care Cookbook recipes to boost your mood and mindset

Rich ragu

This simple, rich tomato ragù is delicious served with any type of pasta or veggie noodles, such as butternut squash or courgette. Adding spinach ups the vitamins and iron to help combat tiredness. The walnuts provide extra protein and energy, as well as the wonderful mood-boosting mineral selenium, which helps reduce anxiety and sets off those happy hormones.

self care cookbook recipes
Gemma Ogston

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Roasted golden quinoa pilaf

A beautiful fruity pilaf made with protein-rich quinoa instead of rice. Chestnuts are high in folic acid and are packed with B-vitamins, which support our brain function. The dried nuts and fruit add so much flavour and wonderful, jewel-like colours, as well as boosting vitamins and protein levels. It’s lovely served with a spoonful of plant-based natural yoghurt.

self care cookbook golden quinoa pilaf
Gemma Ogston

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Roasted roots happy salad

This colourful warm salad is full of ingredients to help us feel calmer. Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 and selenium – if we are lacking in the mineral selenium, we can feel depressed or anxious, so it’s a great idea to add a few walnuts (or brazil nuts) to your meals when you can. I believe you eat and feast with your eyes first, and this dish is so beautiful to look at, too, and will leave you feeling wonderfully relaxed.

self care cookbook happy salad
Gemma Ogston

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The Self-Care Cookbook by Gemma Ogston is published by Vermilion (£14.99).